A new study from asset management firm BNP Paribas sees the oil industry’s future path shrinking from today’s superhighway to a country lane over the next 25 years.

The study looked at the transportation “energy at the wheels” to be gained over the next 25 years through a $100 billion investment in oil compared to the same amount put toward wind and solar renewables projects and battery storage.

Given the plummeting cost of renewables systems, their environmental benefits, and consumer tastes, the study concludes that oil’s price would have to fall to $10 a barrel to hold onto its transportation market for cars and light trucks. 

The analysis found that $100 billion invested in wind and solar projects targeted to transportation would generate as much as seven times more usable energy than oil at $60 a barrel.

TRENDPOST: Light-duty vehicles and electric generation – also vulnerable to being bumped by renewables – account for about 40 percent of the global oil market; Tesla and other vehicle makers are working to replace diesel engines with electric power plants and electric planes and locomotives are already in tests. Economics, environmental concerns, and consumer demand will begin to marginalize the oil industry’s place in transport by 2030. This trend, combined with the accelerating development of petroleum-free plastics, will transform oil into a specialty chemical serving niche markets by 2050.

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